A series of activities for the Pingsi Sky Lantern festival in New Taipei City’s Pingsi District will begin today. The activities will continue until Lantern Festival. The New Taipei City Government Tourism and Travel Department announced at a press conference on Jan. 5 that 5,800 sky lanterns that visitors could set off for free would be provided at four activities. Visitors were also invited to visit on Lantern Festival, when 1,000 sky lanterns would be set off together in a rare display.
A representative of the Tourism and Travel Department said that Pingsi sky lanterns had become even more popular after the success of the movie You Are the Apple of My Eye which kick started tourism in general in Pingsi District. In order to let even more Taiwanese and international visitors experience the unique sky lantern culture the festival will be expanded this year. Four events to set off sky lanterns to pray for luck are planned between the fourth day of the new Lunar Year and Lantern Festival.
At a press conference organized by the Tourism and Travel Department on Jan. 5, which was attended by deputy mayor Lee Shu-chuan and city councilor Yan Shih-hsiung and others, a commercial about the Pingsi Lantern Festival was shown and the lead actress invited. Meng Keng-ru who plays Li Tao-tao, Li Ta-ren's younger sister in the soap In Time With You, who will be the festival's spokesperson, invited people from everywhere to set off sky lanterns at Pingsi and experience the joyous atmosphere.
Tourism and Travel Department director Chen Kuo-chun said that the four events to set off sky lanterns to pray for luck will take place at Jingtong Elementary School today, the fourth day of the new year, at Pingsi Elementary School on Jan. 28, the sixth day of the new year, at the Shifen Sky Lantern Square on Feb. 4 and Feb. 6, Lantern Festival. A total of 5,800 free sky lanterns will be provided for visitors who can also get one of a restricted edition of 2,500 wooden sky lantern amulets.
Chen said that in addition to giving visitors free sky lanterns to set off, there will also be excellent performances at each event. Among these, the theme for the first event will be a cosplay festival with cosplay group performances. At the finale on Feb. 6, there will be the magnificent sight of 1,000 sky lanterns being set off together. It is guaranteed to be an excellent experience.
The 2012 Pingsi Lantern Festival Web site: http://tour.tpc.gov.tw/2012skylantern/#
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON)